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Alabama AG Steve Marshall: Biden must put America first when it comes to energy security

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is calling on President Joe Biden to put America’s national energy security first, including by resuming construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a letter dispatched to the White House on Monday, Marshall and 18 other attorneys general forcefully called out the Biden administration for its opposition to the vital new oil pipeline between Canada and the United States, particularly at a time when America’s energy infrastructure is under direct assault.

Marshall is also a key part of a 21-state coalition currently suing the Biden administration over the revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline cross-border permit.

Monday’s letter reads as follows:

In recent days, Americans witnessed first-hand the vulnerabilities of our energy infrastructure when a cyberattack by malicious foreign actors resulted in a shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. The aftermath has been alarming. Price spikes, fuel shortages, and gas lines akin to those seen in the Carter Administration have demonstrated the widespread disruption and public panic that result when just one pipeline system goes offline.

Americans depend upon safe and secure energy supplies, which is why we must build and maintain robust energy infrastructure that is resilient in the face of accidents and sabotage. A temporary shutdown of one pipeline’s full-capacity operations shouldn’t bring half the country to the brink. We need more safe and clean energy sources.

And that includes the Keystone XL Pipeline. When you were Vice President, your State Department concluded multiple times that Keystone XL was a net positive for the economy, the environment, and energy security. And just days ago, your Energy Secretary acknowledged that a pipeline—as opposed to other transport methods— “is the best way to go” when it comes to moving fossil fuels.

But your Administration’s current approach exchanges those fact-based conclusions for the faddish preoccupations of your coastal elite constituencies. Indeed, hours after you took office, you purported to kill thousands of jobs, extinguish billions in economic opportunity, and jeopardize American energy independence because of the “message” Keystone XL sends to the global community—whatever that means.

Yet in the aftermath of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, your Administration quickly relaxed environmental and safety rules to “secur[e] critical energy supply chains … alleviate shortages … [and] avoid[] potential energy supply disruptions to impacted communities ….” Most Americans—particularly those not located along the coasts—now wish you had been so diligent and responsive before you determined that Keystone XL could be sacrificed on the altar of left-wing virtue signaling.

To be clear, we believe your Keystone XL decision was unconstitutional and unlawful, and we are currently pressing those claims in federal court.

But beyond the basic lawlessness of your decision, the current predicament shows what a poor policy decision it was. Your impulse to bow to an extreme climate agenda untethered to scientific fact or reality—exhibited by the Keystone XL cancellation and other similar actions—affirmatively deprives Americans of the safe and clean energy supplies they need now. It undercuts our energy independence by eliminating a large and secure source of oil in a time of growing global unrest. It damages our reputation with geopolitical allies, like Canada, by reneging on our commitments. It destroys sophisticated, high-paying jobs. And it stunts sustainable economic growth in pipeline communities and throughout the country. In other words, your pursuit of this radical agenda continues to hurt Americans not insulated from the consequences of your decisions by geography or privilege.

Someone once remarked that “the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us … Let us listen to one another. Hear one another. See one another. Show respect for one another.” We’re speaking. Will you listen?

Maybe one day, down the road, we will obtain the Utopian energy profile you desire. But in the meantime, Americans want practical, effective leadership—not visionary deprivations. We again encourage you to reconsider and recalibrate your energy and environmental policies. Put Americans, our national security, and our environment first.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn